Originally Published: May 11, 2009 11:32 p.m.
I take issue with George Cheeves' claims that a book he read states that unemployment during the first six years of Franklin Roosevelt's presidency never went below 22 percent.
Bureau of Labor Statistics figures show the unemployment rates (not counting those on work-fare programs) were as follows: 1933 - 24.9 percent, 1934 - 21.7 percent, 1935 - 20.1 percent, 1936 - 17 percent, 1937 - 14.3 percent. The unemployment rate jumped to 19 percent in 1938 because Roosevelt cut spending that year and tried to balance the budget.
If we count those on government work-fare programs during the New Deal the unemployment rates would have been less than those I indicated.
Yes, the Supreme Court declared some New Deal programs unconstitutional, such as the National Recovery Administration. However, we still have Social Security, unemployment benefits and federal bank insurance. No one claims that the New Deal was perfect but it saved our system of government and capitalism from the chaos, which threatened this country in 1933.